In conversation, I just said:

Вообще, это вроде не такая уж и сложная концепция. Ее вполне можно уложить в слова "Эй, давай обеспечим пациентов тем, что является лучшим для них".

This is where in English I'd have expressed the same idea as "Pretty much boils down to, "Hey ...". At least in English, it is not common to insert a word like "слова" after the preposition "to" before introducing direct speech.

I think it occurred to me, there and then, to fill in the word "слова", as I'm used to placing some noun in the phrase "уложить ... в + noun", as in "ее уложить в 5-6 часов".

I'm now wondering if I could have said alternatively:

Ее вполне можно уложить в... "Эй, давай обеспечим пациентов тем, что является лучшим для них".

... following the pattern of its English equivalent. Or:

Ее вполне можно уложить в то, что: "Эй, давай обеспечим пациентов тем, что является лучшим для них".

How do native speakers commonly express this idea?

  • её вполне можно выразить фразой OR вся она сводится к фразе (closer to boil down to) OR всю её можно резюмировать фразой (to sum up) Dec 27, 2018 at 11:38
  • the entire phrase within the quotes doesn't sound Russian though Dec 27, 2018 at 11:51

3 Answers 3


If you want to keep уложить, I'd go with this:

Концепция, в общем-то, не такая и сложная. Её вполне можно уложить в одну фразу: "давайте-ка обеспечим пациентов самым для них лучшим".

Свести, however, is a better option, as @Баян Купи-ка correctly notes.

Эй is an anglicism. It sounds very foreign to a Russian ear, and usually it's a hallmark of a poor translation from English.

Тем, что является (and abundance of dependent clauses in general) is something you should not be overusing.

  • I would use it without -ка.
    – Elena
    Dec 27, 2018 at 17:59
  • @Elena: I would too if I didn't want to keep it as close to the original one with "hey" as possible.
    – Quassnoi
    Dec 27, 2018 at 18:02

Your first variant was not bad, actually.

But that's right, we do not use "эй" in such cases. In Russian it is a pretty colloquial word, you have to know whether you can say it to a particular person or not, for it can be even offensive if used out of place.

And давай is also colloquial, one of the reasons is that it is given in the ты-form here, and the other is that we do not use it in concepts. )

If I wrote a letter I would put it like this

Концепция, в общем, совсем не сложная. Ее можно выразить одной фразой: "обеспечить пациентов самым лучшим для них".

In speaking you can change the word order (самым для них лучшим), add -то, etc..


Part of the confusion is that you treat облечь/уложить | в | слова as separate entities, while it's a fixed expression meaning to put sth into words, so there is nothing particular about the prepositions in either language--treat it as one indivisible unit of language similar to a single word.

As for relative clauses in general, a very similar rule applies to shortened connection in spoken English and Russian:

We talked about (that) how to help him.

Мы говорили (об этом), как помочь ему.

In your case what you "skip" is not obvious as there is at least a handful of ways to introduce what you wanna say, just like in English, but slicing a fixed phrase is not a good idea. Otherwise your propositions (bare prep & prep + indefinite pronoun) would be correct (but of different registers).

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